Pongola crash: KZN MEC of transport welcomes ‘historic judgment’

Sibusiso Siyaya has been jailed to 20 years behind bars. Picture: With permission/ Dasen Thathiah/eNCA

Sibusiso Siyaya has been jailed to 20 years behind bars. Picture: With permission/ Dasen Thathiah/eNCA

Published May 17, 2024


The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport Community Safety and Liaison, Sipho Hlomuka, welcomed the 20-year jail term handed to truck driver Sibusiso Siyaya.

Siyaya was found guilty on 20 counts of murder following the deadly crash in September 2022 that claimed the lives of 18 children and two adults. The youngest victim was five-years-old.

The KwaZulu-Natal High Court, sitting in Pongola found that the 30-year-old long distance driver had been overtaking when he collided head-on with the bakkie that had been transporting children.

Hlomuka said Thursday’s judgment will “go down in history as the most important ruling and a deterrent to irresponsible drivers on the road”.

“As government we welcome this historic judgment. The fact that Siyaya was sentenced for murder, amongst the other crimes, proves the seriousness in which the criminal justice system is attaching to road traffic offenders,” Hlomuka said.

“We hope that this judgment will serve as a harsh lesson to other reckless drivers on the road.”

During the trial the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said that victim impact statement handed to the court shared stories of the victim’s families heartbreak.

One mother spoke of losing all her children on September 16, 2022.

Speaking about the victim’s Hlomuka said:

“We also believe that through this judgment that victims’ families will find closure knowing that the person responsible for the calamity that robbed them of their loved ones has been sent to jail.”

The NPA on Thursday said Siyaya was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for the murders, three years imprisonment for reckless and negligent driving, and six years imprisonment for failure to perform the duties of a driver after an accident.

The latter sentences would run concurrently resulting in an effective 20-year jail term.

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